With 2020 drawing to a close, it brings the end to one of the most tumultuous and unpredictable years in recent history. People’s personal and professional lives have been turned upside down, and the global economic outlook has never looked so uncertain.

As millions of people remained quarantined, unable to work, and forced into isolation, consumer behaviour shifted significantly towards online purchases, which saw the stocks of many e-commerce companies skyrocket.

 

In fact, Business Insider went as far as saying, “Covid-19 has been like injecting Amazon with a growth hormone.” Although, it’s hard to argue with that notion when you realize that Amazon’s stock is up over 75% since the start of the year.

 

With that in mind, the question for digital marketers becomes; will consumer behavior revert to pre-pandemic days, or is the pandemic a catalyst for a permanent shift that should now be considered as the “new normal?”

 

Businesses need to embrace the new digital landscape

First and foremost, we must recognize that nobody knows how long this current situation will last or what the outcome will be when a solution is finally found. This means that all businesses would benefit from embracing change and doing what they can to digitize themselves.

 

This involves migrating products and services to digital platforms and rebudgeting ad-spend on digital strategies and away from traditional media methods. Digital advertising spend is expected to account for at least 51% of all ad expenditure in 2021 as open-source software, and easy-to-use editing tools have made it as simple as ever for business owners to create their own creative ad campaigns.

 

Social media to continue its dominance

Social media advertisement expenditure struggled throughout much of Q1 and Q2 as many eCommerce companies shut down. This was mainly due to production lines in China grinding to a halt with many other countries following suit shortly afterward.

 

However, companies across the world have finally started to familiarize themselves with the challenges brought on by the pandemic and have begun to adjust to disruptions to global supply chains. As a result, social media ad spend increased by 56.4 % in Q3, which was nearly double what it was during the lowest point of the pandemic in March.

 

As for 2021, expect this trend to resume as confidence returns amidst increased consumer purchasing and engagement online.

 

Is content marketing still the way to go?

Content marketing has been one of the biggest trends to come out of 2020 and the preceding years. Digital marketers have focused on churning out as many blogs, podcasts, and YouTube content as possible, with mixed results.

 

However, just because something is common or popular doesn’t mean that it works. In fact, a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that only 5% of B2C companies considered their content marketing strategies to be “very effective.”

 

Russ Ruffino from Clients on Demand is in agreement as he explains, “most client attraction strategies being taught today just plain don’t work. Blogging. Podcasting. Grinding out articles and videos. All that stuff. These are fine for building an audience, but they’re hopeless when it comes to enrolling new clients. The fact is there’s a huge difference between growing your audience and growing your income.”

 

Of course, it all depends on your end game and what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing campaign. If you’re a service professional, coach, or consultant, it’s worth checking out Ruffino’s program as his students have boasted excellent results over the past few years thanks to his unique marketing strategies.

 

Using digital marketing to improve customer retention

It’s far more beneficial for a company to retain an existing customer than to find a new one. Why? Customer acquisition is expensive, and methods such as social media advertising and SEO marketing often result in a high cost per lead, depending on the campaign’s quality, of course.

 

Admittedly, this is generalizing, and such broad strokes do not apply to all industries. Still, customer retention is undoubtedly going to become a focal point for most companies moving into 2021.

 

Brand loyalty can be achieved in numerous ways thanks to digital marketing tactics such as email marketing, social media engagement, retention incentives, and excellent online customer service. Companies can also set up social listening mechanisms to catch brand mentions on popular social media pages and respond to any queries or complaints in a timely fashion.

 

Furthermore, business owners should strive to open as many communication channels as possible with customers by turning to automated live chat solutions.

SOURCE: Monetary Library